A landmark placed on the seabed tells divers that they have arrived at the right place; the place where the Dutch merchant ship sank at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1985, two divers from Molde came across the so-called Stopleivraket located in Hustadvika, and marine archaeologists immediately took an interest in the ship.
Hustadvika’s wettest attraction
When the unknown merchant vessel went down with man and mouse in Stopleleden nearly 300 years ago, it was in one of the most weather-resistant areas you can find along the Norwegian coast. Dutch ships were quite a common sight along the coast at the time.
From the end of the 16th century and right into the 18th century, Romsdalen and Nordmøre were in a period of extensive timber trade with the continent. Many refer to this period as the Dutch Age because of Norway’s trade with the Netherlands, – which was the leading shipbuilding nation in Europe.
Matauk diving became a historic discovery During the winter holidays in 1985, the two divers Bjørnar Johansen and David Berg Tuddenham went out to Hustadvika on a diving trip. The two boys had scallops, crabs and good things from the sea as their target, but quickly lost focus when halfway through the dive they became aware of quantities of yellow bricks on the seabed. During this dive they realized that they had come across a shipwreck with a very exciting cargo. The discovery was reported to the Science Museum, and it wasn’t long before a visit came from Trondheim by conservator Jørgen Fastner and archaeologist Kristian Pettersen. The practical excavation of the shipwreck was carried out by volunteer divers from Molde Dykkeklubb, with Knud Jørgensen as excavation leader. For one diver, Berg Tuddenham, the excavation job had the personal consequence that he subsequently trained as an archaeologist, with underwater cultural heritage protection as his field of work.
Two summer seasons were spent digging out all the material after the sinking. Today, these objects can be found distributed in the NTNU Science Magazine, at the Romsdalsmuseet and outside at Hustadvika Gjestegård. We are only six kilometers from the shipwreck site as the crow flies, and on a stormy day it is easy to immerse yourself in the drama that unfolded in Stolpeleden 300 years ago. Hustadvika Gjestegård appreciates being able to show off the over 300 well-preserved objects, – in our boathouse loft in Storholmvågen, anyone who wishes has the opportunity to see the exhibition during the guest house’s opening hours.